IGN shows you a world preview of the first official trailer of Forever Skies, the new sci-fi survival video game from Far From Home. The game, due out in early access on PC (Steam) in 2022, was initially announced under the working name “Project Oxygen” and has been in production for over two years by a team of AA and AAA developers who have collaborated on titles like Dying Light, Dying Light 2, Dead Island, The Medium, Chernobylite, and the Divinity Original Sin series. Far From Home confirmed that the new video game will also be released on consoles in the future in a press release.
Forever Skies is a sci-fi-themed first-person action survival game set on an Earth that has been destroyed and desertified by a massive ecological disaster. In this context, players will play the role of a lone scientist who returned to Earth long after the catastrophe to discover the causes of what happened and explore the last bastions of humanity.
The game will include pure survival mechanics, with players who will be asked to build, expand, and control a hi-tech spaceship that will act as a means of transport, refuge, laboratory, and workshop to study mysterious substances and make necessary tools to survive on the now barren planet Earth. Of course, it will also be necessary to procure food and resources and make firearms to eliminate the various threats and make their way into an extremely inhospitable post-apocalyptic ecosystem.
This is what we know about Forever Skies gameplay. Still, there is a lot to understand from the team themselves: they are a group of 23 developers who have worked in the past on the likes of Dead Island, The Medium, the Dying Light series, Chernobylite, and Divinity: Original Sin. Although Far From Home is a new independent studio made up of veterans, it boasts a single source of funding that frees it from the classic restrictions imposed by a publisher and aims to create an “AA+” game, characterized by high production values and ‘high technical depth, all while maintaining a relatively small team.
Speaking to IGN, Far From Home CEO Andrzej Blumenfeld acknowledges that this implies the idea of starting from scratch to win the interest and trust of the public. Still, the software house feels ready to face the challenge partly thanks to its location in the increasingly flourishing Polish scene. “It has been an incredible journey,” says Blumenfeld. “New studios are springing up almost every week. The number of development companies in Poland has exceeded 450! All kinds and configurations have been founded: from real” one-person armies “to small teams of people who have just graduated, from talented groups that arise from large organizations, up to medium-sized companies supported by companies not listed on the market. The moment is particularly positive “.
The studio’s Polish roots have not only influenced its funding model and development DNA, but it is also an important part of Forever Skies’ message and themes. Blumenfeld is sincere when he argues that Forever Skies is a game explicitly focused on the harms of climate change. The team leader argues that the company’s “continuing indifference, despite the climate changes observed by scientists, has baffled the team for a long time, and with Forever Skies, the developers have tried to” show “what the future might hold if the current course of humanity should not change.
Plus, Far From Home doesn’t want to stop at a single scenario. Blumenfeld is adamant that the study presents neutral possibilities and explicitly joins the climate discussion by siding with those concerned about the problem and the world’s response to such a threat.
“The real inspiration for how to lay the game world in a thick layer of toxic dust and the skies above were drawn from various comments by scientists on air quality in Krakow, Poland,” he continues. “This historic city is known for its pollution, which regularly competes with places like Beijing, Delhi or Lahore. Residents would have to reach heights of over 100 meters… This idea that due to gravity – which accumulates an increasing amount of toxic particles and gases near the ground – humanity will be forced to flee towards ever higher towers was important in the design of the narrative premises. “
Climate change isn’t the only issue Far From Home faced in making Forever Skies. When the studio started working on the project, Covid-19 wasn’t a real concern yet. However, the team’s idea of allowing players to search for viruses and even get infected to get stronger had already been spotted by the developers. Far From Home didn’t try to eliminate these systems, but the development team had to rethink how these features could be presented.
“In Forever Skies, getting sick and recovering is an integral part of the survival cycle,” says Blumenfeld. “On the one hand, it is inevitable, with symptoms that impact breathing rate, food tolerance, or even dehydration. On the other hand, however, it is necessary to extract pathogens for development and test a vaccine in some cases. We wanted to show how interaction with these microbes is a central part of the functioning of the human body and how fine the line is between a healthy and a sick being. In Forever Skiesthe games will have the opportunity to indulge in total experimentation and decide whether to use modified viruses as weapons or perhaps to self-infect to increase the vital functions and performance of one’s body “.
“Of course, as the global pandemic evolved, the paradigm shifted between the media and societies. We had to adapt repeatedly to the growing scientific evidence regarding Covid-19, adopting the terminology with which developments were reported at some point. We also, by coincidence, risked being interpreted as promoters of the no-vax option! All this required several adjustments recommended by a renowned virologist, who supports us to keep us faithful to the science. “
In the early stages of Early Access on PC, Forever Skies will offer a single-player experience, with a co-op mode expected to be among the main features coming in the later stages. Forever Skies can now count on around 30 hours of single-player gameplay. This figure is expected to grow even more over the next few months of development and how the Early Access version for PC evolves. “We intend to conclude Early Access armed with a co-op mode, co-designed and tested together with the community,” assures Blumenfeld.
The console versions will come out later with all the updates and content already present in the version available on Steam, including co-op mode. The game does not currently have a release date, but Far From Home has confirmed that early access on Steam will begin in 2022, so the console release could be scheduled for the generic 2023.